A Brief Guide to Money Fairies
By Lucy A. Snyder
This month, I'll venture into the realm of cryptozoology and discuss entities that most people have encountered but few are aware of. These elusive, mercurial creatures are the members of the genus Lucrafae, more commonly known as the money fairies.
In the U.S., the most widely-known money fairy is Lucrafae dentum: the tooth fairy. Although these fairies have been subject to a great deal of speculation, cryptozoologists have very little hard data about what tooth fairies actually do with the teeth they gather. However, recent research by fairy expert Rudy Briggs indicates that they likely obtain their seemingly-endless supply of quarters by robbing vending machines. Briggs feels that this theft is accomplished with the help of a coin goblin (Malargentus dammit), since goblins are responsible for most cases of money lost in malfunctioning machines.
Other money fairies are thought to have mutualistic relationships with goblins. The lesser money fairy (L. bonus) is responsible for finds of dollar bills and loose change in couches across the world. Conversely, the loss of pocket money into couches and gutters is most often caused by the pocket goblin (Malargentus spill). The goblin passes the lost cash to a money fairy in exchange for various personal services that are best left to the imagination. People may also lose money to a couch imp (Argentovore sofa), which typically devours dollar bills and defecates stale popcorn and sticky pennies. Money fairies have an antagonistic relationship with couch imps, since imps sometimes eat cash that the fairies have planted for human discovery.
Writers may encounter a wide variety of money fairies during their lives. In addition to the fairies already mentioned, receipt-hoarding authors wait in eager anticipation for a yearly visit from the tax refund fairy (L. caesar). Night writers who support their families with full-time jobs often hope for an appearance of the increasingly rare overtime fairy (L. hemitempora).
The second most important fairy in a writer's life is the freelance fairy (Lucrafae gig). L. gig is responsible for paid writing assignments that are difficult to obtain or which seemingly come out of nowhere ("I saw your story on the Web and quite liked it. I was wondering if you had finished any novels? We pay professional advances.").
Unfortunately, payments generated by the freelance fairy are often delayed by the postal imp (Papyrovore deadletter). Worse, they may be destroyed entirely by any of several economic demons that regularly drive publishing companies out of business. Some lesser demons may possess publishers who then adhere to the letter of a writing contract but not its spirit and seek ways to cheat writers out of fair payment.
Therefore, the most important entity in a writer's life is the greater money fairy (Lucrafae hallelujah). Greater money fairies deal in large, unexpected sums of money, and they can often counteract the evil whims of economic demons. The greater money fairy is a master of disguise, and when visiting non-writers may often camouflage itself as L. caesar. However, it most often appears to writers in the form of the author's agent: "Congratulations! We negotiated a 5-book deal. Your advance in the amount of $250,000 is enclosed."
Some writers seek to attract greater money fairies by propagating email chain letters ("Send this email to twenty people, and by the end of this month a financial windfall will come your way!") Sadly, chain letters will only irritate your friends. Other writers try to attract money fairies with lottery tickets, slot machines, and poker games. While it is possible to obtain a rare visit from a greater money fairy through gambling, it is much more likely that you will attract the cruel attention of your own personal economic demon.
How, then, can a writer get the attention of a greater money fairy? Experts agree that making the very most out of visits from the gregarious freelance fairy is the best way to attract gifts from its powerful cousin. But wearing your lucky hat probably won't hurt, either.
We hope you get a visit very soon.
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Lucy A. Snyder has a degree in biology, which she mainly uses to help people cut down on their snack consumption at parties. She's the author of the upcoming collection Sparks and Shadows and her work has appeared in publications such as Strange Horizons, Chiaroscuro, Masques V, and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. You can learn more about her at her website.
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